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tv   CBS Evening News With Scott Pelley  CBS  January 16, 2013 5:30pm-6:00pm PST

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y: good evening. the president of the united states stood before the american people today and said it is time to do the right thing. 33 days after the murder of 20 first graders in newtown connecticut, the president said society's first task is to keep our children safe. and with that he announced a major new plan developed by vice president biden for curbing gun violence. backed by children who had written to him about newtown mr. obama signed 23 executive actions strengthening background checks, providing more officers to schools and telling mental health professionals how to report potentially violent patients. then, he called on congress to pass new laws to ban new military-style assault rifles, expand background checks to cover every gun purchase, limit ammunition magazines to a maximum of ten rounds, and impose stiffer penalties for gun trafficking. we have three reports tonight,
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and we will start with major garrett at the white house. major? >> reporter: scott, vice president's gun violence task force held 22 meetings and met with more than 220 different groups. it submitted its proposals to the president two weeks ahead of schedule. president obama accepted them with no changes. >> while there is no law or set of laws that can prevent every senseless act of violence completely, no piece of legislation that will prevent every tragedy, every act of evil, if there's even one thing we can do to reduce this violence, if there's even one life that can be saved, then we've got an obligation to try it. and i'm going to do my part. >> reporter: president obama warned of failure if voters don't mobilize or at minimum raise their voice. none of this will be easy to implement, he said. >> if it were, we'd already have universal background checks.
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the ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines never would have been allowed to expire. more of our fellow americans might still be alive celebrating birthdays and anniversaries and graduations. this will be difficult. >> reporter: mr. obama closed with a tribute to seven-year-old grace mcdonnell, who died at sandy hook elementary. the president met the family privately during the newtown memorial service. it was there that grace's father gave the president one of her paintings. it now hangs in the study next to the oval office. >> every time i look at that painting, i think about grace, and i think about the life that she lived and the life that lay ahead of her. and most of all, i think about how when it comes to protecting the most vulnerable among us, we must act now. >> reporter: the white house will not send a comprehensive gun control bill to congress. top white house officials say hardening opposition there to a push to ban future sales of assault weapons and high-
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ammunition magazines may interfere with the push for universal background checks on all firearm sales and a new gun trafficking law. those last two will be dealt with separately, and though they don't attract the biggest headlines, the white house believes they can pass, and, scott, they believe it might do the most good. >> pelley: major, thank you. one of the newtown children who wrote the president is natalie barden. she lost her seven-year-old brother, daniel. seth doane spoke to the barden family: natalie's mother and father, jacky and mark; and natalie's older brother, james. >> reporter: natalie, you wrote to president obama. >> uh-huh. >> reporter: what did you write about in that letter? >> um, i said that guns should not be able to buy just to anybody. it should only be for people in the military or for police officers. but if people wanted to do it as a sport, they could go to, like, a range, and then they'd have to leave the gun there.
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>> reporter: what do you hope comes of this? >> change. something needs to be fixed, if this can happen. i don't-- i don't know what that is because there are so many different variables, but you can make it better. >> reporter: you have a lot of people out there who agree with you, but disagree in how to achieve that. >> mmm. >> and that's why there has to be discussion. people have to talk about it. >> pelley: one weapon mr. obama wants banned is the military- style ar-15 semiautomatic rifle. the ar-15 was used in newtown, in the colorado movie theater massacre, and in that mall shooting in october. in all three shootings, the guns were equipped with high-capacity ammunition magazines holding between 30 and 100 rounds. the national rifle association was consulted by the vice president's panel, but today the n.r.a. described its opposition to this new plan as the "fight of the century."
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bill plante sat down today with the president of the n.r.a., david keene. >> reporter: you're against the ban on these so-called assault weapons because you don't believe that they're used in that many crimes. >> well, they're not. they're not used in very many crimes, and all the statistics show that. anybody who dies from any reason at the hands of a criminal or somebody who is insane-- or in an accident, for that matter-- is a tragedy. nobody is saying it isn't. but what i am saying is, banning these firearms is not going to accomplish very much. >> reporter: what about the ammunition magazines? the white house proposes limiting ammunition magazines to no more than ten rounds. >> you know, that sounds good. they did it last time they had an assault weapons ban. and, you know, in fact, there have been studies of how many cartridges are used in the average violent crime, and it's about three. >> reporter: what the white house is suggesting is that if the high-capacity ammunition
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magazines had not been available, there wouldn't have been time to kill as many children in connecticut, as many people in the theater in colorado. >> sure, and that sounds reasonable. i'm not saying it doesn't sound reasonable. in one case, it might be true. in other cases, it might not be. but i can tell you this: if you're familiar with-- with a rifle of this kind or a rifle fed by a clip, a shooter-- and i'm not talking about an expert- - can change the clip like that in less than a second. >> reporter: scott, keene says the n.r.a. is willing to discuss wider background checks on gun buyers but not if those records become part of a national registry. he fears that that could lead to forced gun buybacks which he calls the equivalent of confiscation. >> pelley: bill, thank you. so what are the prospects for the president's plan in congress? nancy cordes is on capitol hill for us tonight. nancy? >> reporter: scott, republican leaders did not shut the door on the president's proposals today.
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there are some ideas, like universal background checks, that have some bipartisan support. but any move to try to restrict the kinds of guns that people can buy is going to be met with strong resistance. as they boarded buses for a three-day retreat, house republicans were skeptical. pennsylvania congressman tom marino: >> you know, the president's just making a political move and it's a shame that he's using this situation for political reasons. >> reporter: washington state's dave reichert, a former sheriff, argues gun restrictions alone won't reduce gun violence. >> i think you really have to address the mental health issues. >> reporter: "nothing the president is proposing would have stopped the massacre at sandy hook," said republican senator marco rubio, adding, "president obama is targeting the second amendment rights of law-abiding citizens." still, democrat patrick leahy, who chairs the senate judiciary committee, told an audience at georgetown university he intends to hold hearings on the proposals starting in two weeks.
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>> there are some who say nothing will pass. i disagree with that. what i'm interested in is what we can get. >> reporter: and that might mean putting the assault weapons ban on the back burner in favor of less-controversial measures. california democrat mike thompson leads the party's new gun task force and is a gun owner himself. >> i think we need to look at each piece as to how much good it will do if it passes, and we need to prioritize. and the two areas that i think are most important are universal background checks and the assault magazines. >> reporter: and do you think that those two things stand a fighting chance in this congress? >> oh, yeah. i'm the eternal optimist. >> reporter: the republican house speaker, john boehner, said he will wait to see what the democratically controlled senate can pass, and even that scott, won't be easy. there are a number of western and southern democrats who have a long history of voting against gun control measures.
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>> pelley: nancy, thank you. now to that developing hostage story. at least three americans are among the oil field workers being held by islamic terrorists in eastern algeria. the obama administration says tonight it will take all steps required to deal with the situation. david martin has the late- breaking details. >> reporter: the americans are being held with dozens of other western hostages at this natural gas complex in a remote corner of algeria. a joint venture involving algeria, norway and b.p., it was attacked early this morning by militants claiming to be members of al qaeda. defense secretary panetta learned of the attack while on a visit to italy. >> by all indications, this is a terrorist act, and the united states strongly condemns these kinds of terrorist acts. it is a very serious matter when americans are taken hostage. >> reporter: under the command of a veteran terrorist who goes
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by an arabic nickname meaning "one-eyed man," the attackers say they are retaliating for french air strikes against al qaeda-linked terrorists across the border in mali. with u.s. backing, the french- launched strikes started last friday in an effort to stop hardline islamic groups from taking over the country. in an operation expected to last into february, france is also sending 2,500 ground troops. according to u.s. officials, the french have run into stiffer- than-expected resistance. algerian troops have surrounded that gas complex where the americans are being held. the terrorists are quoted as saying they won't release their hostages until france stops its operations in mali. >> pelley: david, thank you. also breaking tonight, the federal government has just announced it is grounding the new 787 dreamliner, and two japanese airlines did the same today after a second onboard fire. boeing hopes that its new 787 is the future of aviation.
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it has a revolutionary design-- lighter and more fuel efficient. 50 have been delivered and another 800 are on order. but sharyl attkisson reports there have been a number of emergencies on the planes in just the last few days. >> reporter: 45 minutes after takeoff on a domestic flight in western japan, a flight attendant on this all-nippon airway 787 announced in a shaky voice that there would be an emergency landing. 129 passengers evacuated on emergency chutes. an inspection of the aircraft revealed burns around the main battery. airline officials apologized and grounded their 17 dreamliners. japan airlines followed suit. it's the second fire in two weeks traced to the jet's special lithium ion battery system that can overheat and catch fire. last week, a fire broke out aboard a 787 after it landed in boston. that jet's auxiliary power unit
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battery showed severe fire damage. the dreamliner is boeing's first jet to use the lithium ion batteries, which are lighter and deliver more power. the f.a.a. ordered special precautions during the plane's developments because of the battery's tendency to overheat. a day after that fire, there was a fuel leak on a different 787 in boston as it taxied for takeoff. >> japan air 7 affirmative. there appears to be a fuel leak from your left wing. >> reporter: united is the only u.s. airline that currently has 787s. it has six of them. earlier today, the airline said it inspected all six of its dreamliners and that they're safe, there's no reason to ground them. now with the f.a.a.'s action, it has no choice but to do so. >> pelley: sharyl, thank you. an aviation accident left chaos in the streets of london this morning. there's a new virus that's sending more young children to the hospital than the flu. and a woman got stuck in a tough place. you'll see what happened when
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in the hospital than the flu and we asked dr. jon lapook to tell us about that. >> reporter: what started out as a simple cold for infant jude sanford quickly turned into a visit to the emergency room. rebekah and stephen sanford are his parents. >> we had a six-week-old little boy who was running nearly a 104-degree temperature and was struggling to breathe, and so just really concerned. so got him here as quick as we could. >> reporter: arkansas children's hospital is in the middle of a flu epidemic, but jude was fighting a different infection called r.s.v., or respiratory syncytial virus. it attacks the lungs, and, each year, it causes up to 125,000 hospitalizations and more than 200 deaths in babies under age one. dr. michelle moss helped take care of jude. she says right now more babies are in the intensive care unit for r.s.v. than for the flu. >> little tiny babies, newborns,
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we'll see them actually stop breathing. and oftentimes that can be the first symptom of r.s.v. >> reporter: jude was placed on a ventilator to help him breathe, but he quickly deteriorated and his parents were called to the bedside at 3:00 in the morning. >> for them to call us up there in the middle of the night, i just-- i knew it was-- i felt like it was over, that he was not going to make it. >> reporter: most children get r.s.v. by age two and have relatively mild symptoms resembling a cold. but for a small percentage of babies like jude, the tiny airways of the lung can get so inflamed, the virus becomes life threatening. >> he came very close to having to go on life support, but he turned it around and got better. >> reporter: researchers are trying to develop a vaccine for r.s.v. one problem is the immune systems of the hardest hit group, newborns, are so immature, it's hard for vaccines to be effective. >> pelley: jon, thanks very
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much. london looked like a war zone this morning. we'll show you what happened when we come back.
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>> pelley: at first, it looked like terrorists had struck in the heart of london today; there were flames and pieces of metal in the street. but it wasn't terror. a helicopter crashed, killing the pilot and one person on the ground. elizabeth palmer has that. >> reporter: a morning commuter captured the scene at street
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level just after the crash. >> a helicopter has just come down on the way to work. >> reporter: then, a few seconds later, the danger began to sink in. >> call the police now! come on! >> reporter: flaming debris showered down on to one of the busiest areas of central london during rush hour after the commercial helicopter clipped a construction crane on a 52-story building which eyewitnesses said had been shrouded in mist. >> it started to spin, spiraled out of control and landed down hit a car, and the car exploded. >> reporter: the helicopter's pilot, peter barnes, was one of the two people killed in the crash. the investigation into this fatal crash has already begun. it will focus on how such a thing could have happened in one of the most closely controlled air spaces in the country. elizabeth palmer, cbs news london. >> pelley: of course firefighters have to be ready for anything, and, in portland oregon, the call came in overnight that a woman was
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weather talent appears at wx center with generic pinpoint filling monitor then we take special sponsored 7-day graphic then we wipe finally tonight, president obama made one of the most impassioned speeches of his presidency today when he called for action to end gun violence. but no one can make the case as powerfully as a family that has been victimized by a criminal with a gun. from chicago, dean reynolds has one mother's story. >> reporter: it was may 10th, 2007, a surveillance tape captured a teenager with a gun boarding a chicago bus and shooting. >> a crowded bus full of teenagers and people coming home from work, he shoots five kids that day, five teenagers, and my son died as a result of that. >> reporter: annette nance- holt's only child, blair, was 16. more than 2300 people have been killed by guns in chicago in the years that followed. >> do you think the public is indifferent? >> i think a lot of people are indifferent because they figure
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it didn't happen to them or they figure most of our kids in our community are gangbangers or drug dealers, don't go to school, are uneducated, don't have fathers or mothers. i think a lot of people look at us like that. and that's not true. when my son was murdered, i got a letter in the mail, it wasn't a week later. somebody found out where i lived. they mailed me a letter saying, had somebody on the bus been armed, if everybody on the bus had a gun, had been armed, my son would be alive. no, i think a lot of the people on the bus would be dead today. >> reporter: following her son's death, nance-holt co- founded "purpose over pain," an organization that advocates for gun control. last week she met with vice president biden's task force on gun violence. what is the something that we have to do? >> first, the mothers and fathers who have lost their children to violence raise up and say something now. it's hard. i know it's hard to stand up. but we all need to stand up and give our voices. we need to write politicians. we need to call them. we need to march.
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we need to rally. >> reporter: what would you say to the national rifle association? >> i would say they need to come up with some commonsense plan to how we can combat gun violence. it's not getting more guns. that's not a commonsense plan to a mother like me or to other families in the city of chicago who have lost their children to violence. >> reporter: and for those who believe it could never happen to their family, annette nance- holt said she once felt that way, too. dean reynolds, cbs news, chicago. >> and that's the "cbs evening news" for tonight. for all of us at cbs news all around the world, good night. captions by: caption colorado >> your realtime captioner: linda marie macdonald good evening, i'm allen martin. >> i'm elizabeth cook.
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>> we can't deliver mixed messes angles. what does it want of its police of itself and the leadership of that city has to show the way. >> oakland gets some advice from a former mayor as the city grapples again with how to respond to a spike in deadly violence. we have been here before and tonight cbs 5 reporter phil matier points out the various factions are falling into a familiar pattern that normally frankly ends in failure. phil. >> reporter: that's right. and it is going to be an interesting twist because oakland is really at a crossroads. here's the story. how many times have we seen a surge of violence in the streets of oakland followed by officials saying the violence has got to stop and then the city council meeting where the latest plan being offered is met with stiff opposition. >> let's stop it. >> reporter: this time the fight is over bringing in former new york police chief bill bratton as an advisor on reducing crime but it was his controversial use of "stop &
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frisk" that some say targets minorities that took center stage. bob jackson who asked the mayor for a state of emergency was one of those who sat through the barrage. >> he is not giving us just a real trump down on the police department. it was like the police is the problem. >> reporter: after five hours, the contract moved forward but with a big question still undecided. >> do we stay with bratton or change with somebody else. >> reporter: you couldn't even decide whether to give the contract to bratton or not? >> you know, phil, okay, it's, uhm, there was two colleagues of mine with all due respect, the majority of the audience made the issue "stop & frisk" and nobody addressed the issues of the homicides we have every day. >> reporter: like many oaklanders, they say there's more to public safety than just cops. >> it's easy to think about the things that you can do that are really suppression-based or law enforcement-based without thinking about the broader range of partnerships you have


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